DEVOTIONAL: “I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.” Psalm 77:1-2, ESV.
CHALLENGE: Extraordinary change requires extraordinary prayer. The Scriptures are filled with wonderful examples of God’s people faithfully praying to bring about God-honouring changes. Kendrick gives three examples of ordinary people with extraordinary prayer methods. Reading the book of Esther we see the use of corporate prayer. Esther beseeched her people the Jews to pray together for deliverance from Haman, “the mastermind of the genocide”.
Of corporate prayer Kendrick says, “Extraordinary prayer is a team effort.” And “The result of their united, above-and-beyond praying was miraculous.” This also is true of the apostles in the New Testament. In Acts 12 Peter is set for execution, and the disciples praying for him with fasting. “Serious matters call for unusual sacrifice with focused devotion and dedication.”
The final example of extraordinary prayer comes from Jonah’s shipmates during the storm. “They prayed fervently. Persistently and passionately.” They prayed to Jonah’s God for deliverance.
Reading these stories and many more in the Bible we see prayer shaping the people and their circumstances. Jesus’ life was filled with devote prayer, communion with His Father. How have corporate prayer, fasting and fervent prayer shaped you this past year? How have they affected your family, church and community? How can they change our walk with God?